Sunday 19 May
Yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Yellow-crested cockatoo fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Yellow-crested cockatoo description
The yellow-crested cockatoo is generally white in colour with, as the English name suggests, a crest of yellow feathers on the head that curves forwards. The undersides of the wings and tail are also yellow, the bill is black, and the feet are grey. The sexes differ in eye colour; in females they are reddish-brown but males have black eyes. In both sexes the skin around the eye is bluish. Juveniles are similar in appearance to adults but have a grey iris, and chicks have patchy yellow down. Four subspecies exist; C. s. sulphurea, C. s. abbotti, C. s. parvula, and C. s. citrinocristata (2).
- Also known as
- Lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo. Top
BirdLife International - Yellow-crested cockatoo:
- BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
- BirdLife International (2000) Threatened Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge.
- The act of incubating eggs, that is, keeping them warm so that development is possible.
- A different race of a species, which is geographically separated from other populations of that species.
IUCN Red List (March, 2008)
- Hoyo, J.D., Elliot, A. and Sargatal, J. (1997) Handbook of the birds of the world. Volume 4, Sandgrouse to cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
CITES (October, 2002)
- Birdlife International. (2001) Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. Cambridge, UK.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
Yellow-crested cockatoo biology
This species has a broad diet including seeds, berries, fruit, nuts and flowers. It has been observed raiding crops of maize and rice, and may also take green plant material (4). This bird tends to roost and feed in groups (2). All cockatoos develop very strong pair bonds, and the yellow-crested cockatoo is no exception. Precise details of breeding are not known for this species, the nest is usually built in a tree-hollow, and up to three eggs can be laid. Nests have also been made in burrows in cliff faces (4). In captivity both parents feed the chick, which hatches after about 27 days of incubation (2).Top
Yellow-crested cockatoo range
The yellow-crested cockatoo is found in the central archipelagos of Indonesia and on East Timor. This species was widespread and common in the 19th Century but by the 1980s had undergone a rapid decline and was vanishing from most areas of its former range (4).Top
Yellow-crested cockatoo habitat
Inhabits woodland and cultivated areas from sea-level up to about 1200 metres (2).Top
Yellow-crested cockatoo statusTop
Yellow-crested cockatoo threats
The main factor responsible for the precipitous decline of all of the races of the yellow-crested cockatoo has been unsustainable over-exploitation for the pet trade. Habitat loss has also played a part in the decline (4).Top
Yellow-crested cockatoo conservation
The yellow-crested cockatoo is now fully protected by Indonesian law, and international trade is restricted by CITES. It occurs within a number of protected areas and a species Recovery Plan was initiated in 1998. This programme continues today and is making progress in five key areas, namely: controlling trade, conserving key habitats, removing the market demand for wild birds by establishing captive breeding facilities, research into ecology and population dynamics, and awareness campaigns (4).Top
Find out more
For more information on the yellow-crested cockatoo see:
Thank you to Yves de Soye (11/7/02), Director, Loro Parque Fundacion, for revising the text.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Creative commons material
Any other use